Despite their name, cat fleas are found not only on felines but also on dogs; in the U.S., in fact, they’re the type of fleas that dogs usually carry.
Dog fleas do exist, but they mostly live in Europe.
If you’ve ever had a pet with fleas, you know these biting pests are not easy to spot because they are so small—only about 1/12 inch long. Although they can’t fly, they can jump (onto furniture, bedding, from one pet to another) using their powerful hind legs.
Cat fleas have a life cycle of about 100 days. Since they need to feed on fresh blood to reproduce, they may live on a cat or dog for 30 or 40 days as adults, as they’re mating and laying eggs. The female lays up to 50 tiny white oval eggs a day. The eggs can remain on the host to hatch or fall to the ground into carpeting or other protected areas and hatch there. Larvae emerge after a few days and go through four stages before spinning a cocoon. They remain in that shelter until warmth or vibration (such as an animal walking by) alerts them that a potential host might be near.
Cat fleas live outdoors and require a furry mammal host, such as deer mice, raccoons, squirrels and other feral cats and dogs to survive. They typically hitch a ride on an outdoor cat or dog to get inside.
But even if you never let your pets venture outside, these fleas may find a way in by attaching themselves to your shoes, socks or pants. Cat fleas love your home because they do best in warm conditions, 70 to 90 degrees. That’s also why they’re a bigger problem during the summer months.
To prevent cat fleas from invading your home:
- Avoid walking your dog in places where other dogs or wild animals are frequent visitors.
- Keep the grass short in your yard.
- Pest-proof your home to ensure no rodents can bring the fleas in.
- Follow your vet’s advice about flea preventive programs for your pets
As a Home Protection Plan customer, if you’re not satisfied with our pest control service, we will service your home at no additional cost until your issue is solved or receive your money back from your last scheduled service.
- Treatment begins with getting your pets properly treated and making sure the product you use is working by follow-up flea combings.
- The next step is washing pet bedding, vacuuming all carpets and upholstered furniture and sweeping any uncarpeted areas where the pets rest.
- Then we recommend treating all carpeted areas, especially around pet bedding and resting areas, as well as upholstered furniture.
- Finally, we address any outdoor areas where pet(s) spend time.